St. Louis Elder Abuse Attorney
Louis Elder Abuse Lawyer
Elder abuse is any form of harm or mistreatment inflicted upon an individual who is 60 years of age or older. The abuse can take many forms, including physical abuse, emotional abuse, sexual abuse, financial abuse, and neglect. It is a serious issue that affects older adults from all socioeconomic backgrounds. It can have disastrous consequences for the victim’s physical, emotional, and financial well-being. Elder abuse can occur in many settings, including the victim’s home, a nursing home, or an assisted living facility. It can be perpetuated by family members, caregivers, friends, or strangers. It is important to be aware of the signs and take action if you suspect an elderly individual is being abused.
If you or a senior you know is a victim of elder abuse and you would like to pursue legal action, consult with an experienced St. Louis elder abuse attorney. At Stange Law Firm, our elder law attorneys have extensive experience representing victims of elder abuse. We understand the unique issues that arise when litigating these cases. We can work hard to seek the compensation our clients deserve. Our elder law attorneys are knowledgeable about the laws that protect older adults from abuse. We can use this knowledge to help ensure a favorable outcome for our clients. Connect with us today to learn more about how we can help you.
What Legal Basis Exists to Recognize Elder Abuse Scenarios?
Elder abuse is a complex and multifaceted issue. Several legal fields exist to recognize and address different scenarios of elder abuse.
- Criminal Laws: Criminal laws provide a legal basis for prosecuting individuals who commit elder abuse. This can include assault, battery, financial exploitation, and neglect.
- Civil Laws: Civil laws provide a legal basis for an individual or their representative to sue an abuser for damages, such as medical expenses or lost wages. This can include filing a civil claim for elder abuse, neglect, or financial exploitation.
- Guardianship and Conservatorship laws: These laws provide a legal basis for the appointment of a guardian or conservator for an individual unable to make decisions on their own due to incapacity. The guardian or conservator has the legal authority to make decisions on behalf of the individual and can also be appointed to protect the individual from abuse, neglect, or exploitation.
What Are the Most Frequent Elder Abuse Scenarios?
Elder abuse can take many forms and occur in various settings. Some of the most frequent scenarios include:
- Physical Abuse: This is physical harm such as hitting, slapping, pushing, or restraining an older adult. It can also include inappropriate use of drugs or withholding necessary medical care.
- Emotional Abuse: These are verbal or nonverbal acts that cause an older adult emotional pain, distress, or fear, such as verbal harassment, ridicule, humiliation, or threats.
- Financial Abuse: This includes the unauthorized use of an older adult’s money or property, such as stealing money or forging signatures on checks. It can also include coercion or manipulation to obtain money or property.
- Neglect: This crime is the failure of a caregiver to provide for the basic needs of an older adult, such as food, water, and medical care. It can also include failure to provide a safe and clean living environment.
- Sexual Abuse: This is any form of non-consensual sexual contact, such as touching, fondling, or intercourse.
- Self-Neglect: This occurs when an older adult cannot take care of themselves and may be related to mental or physical incapacity, which can put them at risk for health issues, accidents, or other forms of harm.
It is important to note that elder abuse can occur at the hands of a family member, friend, caregiver, fellow resident, or stranger. It can happen in various settings, such as at home, in a St. Louis nursing home or assisted living facility, or in a community-based setting. It is also important to note that elder abuse can be a singular or ongoing occurrence; it can happen with multiple perpetrators, and often, it goes unreported.
What Evidence Can Prove Elder Abuse?
Several types of evidence can be used to prove elder abuse, including:
- Physical Evidence: Physical evidence can include bruises, cuts, broken bones, or other injuries consistent with abuse or neglect. This type of evidence can be collected through medical examinations, X-rays, and other forms of testing.
- Medical Evidence: Medical evidence can include documentation from healthcare professionals, such as doctors, nurses, and therapists, of injuries or conditions consistent with abuse or neglect. This can include medical records, treatment plans, and diagnostic reports.
- Eyewitness Testimony: Eyewitness testimony can include statements from family members, friends, neighbors, or others who have witnessed the abuse or neglect. This type of evidence can provide a first-hand account of what occurred. It can be used to help establish a pattern of abuse.
- Surveillance Footage: Surveillance footage can include video recordings of the abuse or neglect. This type of evidence can be collected through security, hidden, or other forms of surveillance.
- Financial Evidence: Financial evidence can include financial records, such as bank statements or credit card records, that may indicate financial exploitation. This can prove that an elder’s assets have been misused or misappropriated.
- Expert Witness Testimony: Expert witness testimony can include testimony from experts in fields such as medicine, psychology, and social work. These individuals can provide insight into the nature and effects of abuse or neglect. They can also offer opinions or testimony that support or refute the accusation or defense.
Remember that not all evidence needs to be physical. Elder abuse can happen emotionally or mentally, too. For example, emotional or psychological abuse may be evidenced by changes in an older adult’s behavior, such as depression, anxiety, or withdrawal. It could also be established by verbal or written statements threatening or belittling an elder. Seek help from a professional if you suspect elder abuse, and consider obtaining legal assistance for support through the legal process.
Contact Stange Law Firm Today
Elder abuse can be a traumatic experience for the victim and their family. At Stange Law Firm, we understand the challenges that victims and families face when dealing with elder abuse. Our experienced elder and nursing home abuse lawyers are here to offer compassionate, knowledgeable legal advice and help you understand your rights and options. If you or a loved one has been a victim of elder abuse, contact us today for a consultation. We are here to help.
Greene County, St. Louis Office : 901 E. St. Louis, Suite 404, Springfield, Missouri 65806